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Budget savings from changes to government IT procurement the latest joke.



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Mon, 7th April 2008 BUDGET SAVINGS FROM CHANGES TO GOVERNMENT IT PROCUREMENT THE LATEST JOKE

The Hon Peter Dutton MP Shadow Minister for Finance, Competition Policy and Deregulation

Shadow Minister for Finance, Competition Policy and Deregulation, Peter Dutton, has today slammed the Rudd Government for playing silly political games in its approach to Budget savings, this time in relation to Government IT procurement.

Mr Tanner inherited a sound and strong economy, and is continuing to run this stupid political line dreamt up by he and Wayne Swan, that spending under the Howard Government was out of control, and therefore he will save the day by trimming a million here and a million there.

Australia has a $1,100,000,000 ($1.1trillion) economy, and Lindsay Tanner is running around saying to cut inflation he will cut Government spending. If he is serious he must admit the cuts will have to be in the tens of billions over the estimates. So far he is talking about cutting $15 million from public servant airfares, and now an unspecified amount in IT procurement refinements.

"Mr Tanner loves a headline, but the next one should be to detail how he is going to achieve savings in the billions - will it be a new super tax, cuts to family tax benefit or new taxes aimed at business?

"Mr Tanner and his Department got rolled on the carers allowance proposed savings, and now he is embarrassing himself with this piecemeal approach, which will have no serious impact on inflation.

''Now Mr Tanner is suggesting that the procurement of Government IT is too decentralised, which clearly demonstrates Mr Tanner is out of touch with the Government Departments and the specialised role that each plays.

''For example, he is critical of the Australian Government having 'eight different secure networks for all the kind of national security and defence and policing arrangements'.

''Each security agency is highly specialised and has very unique IT requirements. Integration and cost cutting of IT systems will lead to inefficiencies in a part of government that can ill-afford to drop the ball.

''Agencies have already had their budgets cut by the one-off 2% efficiency dividend, with the Australian Federal Police alone losing $19.6 million of its 2008-09 Budget to this blunt approach.

''Mr Tanner must outline how much will be saved by changing the procurement guidelines by setting benchmarks for the costs of contracted labour and IT hardware.

''He needs to also assure Australians that Government departments will be able to maintain a high level of efficiency and professionalism.

"Above all Mr Tanner must admit this latest suggestion is just another attempt to grab a headline, and rule out this damaging proposal to our intelligence and enforcement agencies."